Sailing the Elaphiti Islands off the Croatian coast

Sailing the Elaphiti Islands off the Croatian coast

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts  about Dubrovnik there are some terrific day trips that you can take from the city. One of these is to sail the Elafiti Islands.

The Elafiti/Elaphiti Islands (I will use both spellings) are an archipelago of 13 large and small islands 4- 8 nautical miles to the west of Dubrovnik. Only 3 of the islands are inhabited – Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan.

They are renowned for their beauty and offer the visitor a more relaxing alternative to the busy and bustling city of Dubrovnik.

There are many ways of getting to the islands – many companies offer Elaphiti Island tours and day trips ad there is also a the regular boat service offered from Dubrovnik several times a day.

As a very special treat for my husband (and a surprise) I decided to take the luxury option and hire a boat and skipper just for us for the day! After checking out trip advisor I settled on Dubrovnik Explore and contacted them to organise our day. It was very easy and with a few e-mails from Loren (who was our skipper for the day too) everything was organised.



As we had hired the boat we could decide our own itinerary and time scales (we hired the boat for a full day – 8 hours). We met Loren at the waterfront near where we were staying as we weren’t staying at a waterfront hotel for him to pick us up directly from there.

The boat for the day

our boat for the day taking us on a tour of the Elaphiti Islands

Our boat for the day a Quicksilver Commander 525


Our first sighting on one of the Elafiti Islands was the island of Kolocep. This is the closest and the smallest of the three islands. It is a favourite resort for the people of Dubrovnik and there are lots of lovely villas on the hillsides. Although there are some lovely walks to do on this island we decided to sail past this quiet, peaceful island and head to Sipan the furthest island instead.



The Best Croatia Itinerary: Dubrovnik to Zagreb



Sipan is the largest of the Elafiti Islands and is according to the local guide also the richest island. There are several villages on the island connected by a road through the island.  Olive trees and vineyards can be found amongst cultivated fields on an island with numerous churches, ruined palaces and forts.

Sudurad in Sipan Croatia

Kolocep and the village of Sutured


The village of Sudurad was our stop for half an hour. A short stroll revealed a quiet, pretty village. Apart from the occasional visitors anchoring their boats in the small harbour it must feel quite remote from the madness of 21st century living.

Kolocep Elaphit island in Croatia


view of the Elafiti Islands

The views of the islands from the boat were stunning.

a boat in the seas off the ELAFITI ISLANDS

sailing the Elafiti Islands

Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik in Croatia



Our last stop was the island of Lopud. This is the middle island – located between Kolocep and Sipan and is the most populated and ‘touristy’ of the Elafiti islands.

Lopud one of the Elafit Islands off the coast of Croatia


gardens on Lopud

We stopped off at this island for a few hours  and headed for Sunj Bay on the opposite side of the island to the harbour. There are no cars on Lopud and the only way to get to the bay (a mile away across a very steep hilly terrain) is to either walk or as we did catch a golf buggy! Yes you read that correctly!! Catch a golf buggy! They are waiting to carry you to the beach at a fee of 2 Euros each! I would recommend you do this as the walk in summer heat up some very steep hills is not to be underestimated! Just remember to HANG ON! They drive fast!!!

golf buggies waiting on the island of Lopud Elafiti Islands

Catching a golf buggy!

We spent a lovely few hours relaxing at the beach after hiring a sun lounger and lamenting the fact we hadn’t brought a book to read! The bay is lovely as you can walk out for about 100 meters with the sea remaining at knee height.

Our last excursion of the day was a trip to see Dubrovnik from the sea. Loren offered to take us as we still had some of our time left.

My ultimate top 10 tips for Croatia to make the most of your trip
Visiting Arboretum Trsteno in Croatia - A garden with a view!



As I mentioned above there are many options to get to the islands. I chose to hire a boat and we had a wonderful day. Loren communicated prior to our day out to organise pick-ups etc. He made sure we were happy and had the best experience possible. We were provided with refreshments (cool drinks and beers) throughout the day. He made recommendations based on our preferences.

Take your swimming costume, towels, camera, something to read (we forgot our books). We bought sandwiches and fruit on Lopud and there are restaurants on this island if you want a sit-down lunch. We ate our lunch on the beach and had an ice-cream later when we got back into the village.

I will also mention that you can swim from the boat. He provides a Go-Pro for use in the water and will take you to the best locations. We didn’t do this only because I am not a fan of swimming in deep water/snorkelling and prefer the shallows! I know I know but that’s me!! If you are adventurous why not take a kayaking trip around the islands?

Please note views are all my own and we received nothing in exchange for mentioning this company – we just liked them!


The Elafiti Islands - a great day trip from Dubrovnik


Author: Tracy

Tracy has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. November 14, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    What an amazing experience! Private trip sounds like the perfect way to discover the islands. Is it very expensive? Would love to do this one day!

    • November 15, 2016 / 11:14 am

      It was a great day – it wasn’t too expensive considering we had a boat to ourselves and it was such a lovely present to surprise my husband with. Definitely recommend this!

  2. Linda Tallett
    November 14, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Great post Tracy and what a lovely way to see the islands. Looks like fun ??

  3. November 14, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    This is a great post, I have been to Croatia many times but never done this. I will definitely be asking you tips on this again when I go as I would love to do this. Your photos are lovely as well

    • November 15, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Thanks Mel – definitely worth doing this on your next trip to Croatia. We had a great day out on the boat with Loren.

  4. November 15, 2016 / 11:40 am

    This looks amazing! So beautiful! Definitely a must-do! By the way, I can totally relate to the snorkling in deep water. I’m not a fan either and prefer shallow water too.

    • November 15, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      It was a fab day out! yes deep water is not something i am a fan of – i need to see the bottom!

    • November 15, 2016 / 8:07 pm

      thanks Tanja – it is so beautiful there the photographs sort of take themselves! Great trip to do too

  5. November 16, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Oh wow – this sounds right up my street! I’d want to spend a night on each though. They sound lovely and we are still to visit Croatia, it looks and sounds beautiful!

    • November 17, 2016 / 6:35 pm

      There are so many fabulous islands to visit in Croatia. We would definitely stay on Hvar when we go again (not sure when but definitely one day!) as its a larger very popular island on the way up to Split on the catamaran.

  6. November 18, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    Tracy this boat tour looks amazing. We did a similar one off the coast of Zadar and I can still remember feeling so relaxed as we cruised from island to island. Beautiful photos of a special time for you and your husband and one for next I visit Croatia. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • November 18, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      Hi Katy it was fantastic – isn’t Croatia beautiful? Pleased to have found #FarawayFiles – I will enjoy taking part 🙂

  7. November 18, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    The sky and the water are both so blue! It looks absolutely lovely. Plus a private boat tour for eight hours sounds like a great way to spend the day. #FlyAwayFriday

    • November 18, 2016 / 6:30 pm

      Thank you Ava it was a fantastic day out and such a beautiful part of the world!

  8. November 18, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    A private boat sounds so wonderful. What a great way to surprise your husband! #flyawayfriday

    • November 18, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      He loved it! I am hoping for an amazing Christmas present this year lol!

  9. November 18, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    Oh wow what an incredible place to sail around! Those islands are gorgeous! What a beautiful surprise too. A private tour sounds simply exquisite! #farawayfiles

    • November 19, 2016 / 10:09 am

      Thank you Juliette – he was so happy! It was a beautiful experience for us both 🙂

  10. November 18, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    Ah this sounds blissful. Those views are stunning. If you don’t mind me asking, what was the pricepoint on the boat hire for the day? We are thinking about island hopping next year on a trip to Croatia, but have heard it can get pretty expensive quickly. #farawayfiles

    • November 19, 2016 / 10:08 am

      Hi we used Dubrovnik Explore – its not cheap but we felt it was reasonable for what we got. I am sure if you contact Loren he could give you a quote. Mention you heard about him on here – we got no discount or anything but am happy to recommend him!

  11. November 19, 2016 / 4:27 am

    I really like to sail when I visit a place. And, island hopping is even better. I would do a tour like this without thinking about it. The landscapes are so beautiful and the water is so dreamy. Thanks for the tip! #FlyAwayFriday

    • November 19, 2016 / 10:05 am

      We love sailing too – a day or two on the water is always great! Really great day out!

  12. November 20, 2016 / 6:14 am

    Awesome! Croatia has been on my list for quite some time now, and this little day trip sounds awesome, definitely bookmarking!

    • November 20, 2016 / 10:20 am

      Thanks Natalie – Croatia is a beautiful destination and this trip was just lovely.

  13. November 20, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! Isn’t Croatia just one of the most stunning places on Earth??!! I wished we sailed these ones while we there (we sailed the northern islands like Hvar/Vis/Korcula) and probably some of the most chrming places ever. Thank you for sharing on FlyAwayFriday!! We love having you!!

    • November 21, 2016 / 8:25 am

      Hi Chloe we sailed past Hvar on the way to Split and I would love to stay there – it looked so beautiful!

      Love being a part of #FlyAwayFriday – thanks for having me.

  14. November 21, 2016 / 1:02 am

    Wow! I was in Dubrovnik and completely missed the fact that these islands even exist! I’ll have to go back and check them out! Thanks for the excuse to return to Croatia. It was so stunning! #flyawayfriday

    • November 21, 2016 / 8:19 am

      We loved Croatia too – such a beautiful place!

  15. November 21, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Such a fantastic thing to do on a trip to busy Dubrovnik! I love taking boat trips and this one looks extra special. I really like the idea of visiting a couple of islands. This is definitely going on my Croatia wish list. Thanks so much for sharing this with us on #FarawayFiles

    • November 21, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Hi Clare it was a welcome relief from a very busy Dubrovnik – we were really chilled by the end of the day! I can highly recommend it!

  16. November 21, 2016 / 6:39 pm

    This is amazing! Did you have the boat driver with you the whole time? We wanted to rent a boat as well when we were in Greece but the rental charge doesn’t come with a driver. We need to drive it ourselves and I’m quite afraid to do that. What if we get lost? Lol. Which one is your favorite island?

    • November 21, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      Hi yes we hired the boat with the skipper so we could just sit back and relax – it was a lovely day! I think I liked Lopud the best – the golf buggies were an experience and the beach was lovely!

  17. November 23, 2016 / 3:50 pm

    Such a great post and full of ideas! I have never been to Croatia but I am really inspired to visit it now! Sailing around also sounds like a dream!

    • November 23, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      thanks Ari – I am sure you would love Croatia

  18. November 24, 2016 / 7:56 am

    AH! We were just in Croatia in October and adored it. So much more to explore – we did not get to the Elafiti Islands – obviously must go back! We loved Korčula and this looks amazing too. Thank you for sharing and connecting with #FarawayFiles – can’t wait to see where you take us this week! Erin

    • November 24, 2016 / 8:48 am

      We feel the same – there is so much to see and do in Croatia that one visit wasn’t enough. We will definitely go back! This week it is to Bosnia Herzegovina 🙂